Box Camera, Photo-See Camera Outfit Model A, No 100

1930-1939 in New York
Photo See Corporation

Photo-See camera outfit Model A, No 100. Box camera for in-camera processed pictures. 1 1/2 inch square. Fitted with a simple lens, rotating plate with three apertures. T/I rotary shutter. Folding fame finder. Sensitive materials -? plate or card apparently carried in light tight sleeve from which it can be withdrawn inside the camera by moving a pin and brought down into the focal plane and returned after exposure. Focusing by movement of this mechanism. After exposure the sensitive material holder can be inserted in processing tank in which the material is withdrawn by mechanism similar to that in camera and passed to a rubber lined aperture against which it can be clamped by external clip. Light trapped inlets and outlets permit processing chemicals to be applied to material. Photo See Corporation, 200, 5th Avenue, New York.

The Photo-See camera was an art-deco box camera and developing tank capable of making photographs in five minutes. The box is accompanied with the message 'Snap the picture and get the photo in five minutes outdoor or indoor'. A special light-sensitive card is carried in a light-tight sleeve, from which it can be withdrawn inside the camera by a moving pin, brought down into the focal plane, and returned after exposure. After exposure, the sensitive material holder is inserted into the processing tank, withdrawn again by a similar mechanism, and passed to a rubber-lined aperture, against which it can be clamped by an external clip. The light trapped inlets and outlets permit processing chemicals to be applied to the material. The processed pictures are approximately 1.5 inches square.

According to a popular but untrue rumour, the viewfinders are on backwards and instructions were never printed (explaining why they are often found unused within the box). Actually the finders are as designed and instructions do exist, although they are not often found with the cameras.


Photographic Technology
Object Number:
glass, white metal (unknown), wood (unidentified)
box camera
  • tools and equipment
  • equipment by process
  • image making equipment
  • camera (form)
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford

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